News and Press Releases

47 Defendants Charged in Separate Schemes that Resulted in Thousands of Identities Stolen and Millions of Dollars in Identity Theft Tax Filings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael J. De Palma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, Michael B. Steinbach, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Ronald J. Verrochio, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, Guy Fallen, Special Agent in Charge, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), Steven Steinberg, Chief, Aventura Police Department, Larry Gomer, Interim Chief, North Miami Beach Police Department, and Juan Santana, Chief, Miami-Dade Police Department, announce the filing of federal charges against 47 defendants in 30 separate cases, dealing with thousands of stolen identities and millions of dollars of fraudulent identity theft tax filings. Today’s cases reaffirm the joint federal and local commitment to crack-down on stolen identity tax refund fraud (SIRF) perpetrators.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida had the highest rate of identity theft in the United States in 2012. While identity theft in Florida ranks highest in the United States, the identity theft rate in Miami has reached near epidemic proportions. Florida’s rate of 361.3 complaints per 100,000 residents – the highest in the United States – is dwarfed by the Miami rate of 645.4 complaints per 100,000 residents.

Moreover, a September 2012 report by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) determined that Florida has the highest rate of stolen identity tax refund fraud in the United States. The City of Miami’s per capita number of false returns based on identity theft was 46 times the national average, and its per capita SIRF dollar value was more than 70 times the national average. Worse still, this problem is projected to grow: the TIGTA report estimates that the IRS could issue as much as $21 billion in fraudulent tax refunds over the next five years.

In an attempt to combat the rising wave of stolen identity tax refund scams, and armed with recent directives from the Department of Justice’s Tax Division, making prosecutions faster and easier, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida established the South Florida Identity Theft Tax Fraud Strike Force (Strike Force) in August 2012.

The members of the Strike Force, and participating agencies, include the United States Attorney’s Office, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Miami Field Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), Aventura Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division, Town of Davie Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), Ft. Lauderdale Police Department, Coconut Creek Police Department, Sunrise Police Department, Coral Springs Police Department, Miramar Police Department and North Miami Police Department.

Since the inception of the Strike Force, we have charged 273 defendants responsible for approximately $451 million in intended stolen identity refund fraud loss and in excess of $99 million in actual SIRF fraud loss. The Strike Force also worked proactively to hinder the efforts of SIRF defendants by attacking the fraudulent use of EFIN numbers in the Southern District of Florida. An EFIN number is a designated number issued by the IRS that allows individuals to file tax returns on behalf of other taxpayers. By analyzing fraudulent returns associated with certain of the EFIN numbers used in this District, the Strike Force, working closely in conjunction with IRS, revoked or suspended 70 of the worst offending EFIN numbers with which 53,900 returns were filed and stopped the flow of refunds associated with those numbers, saving the taxpayers untold millions of dollars.

Today, U.S. Attorney Ferrer, joined by members of the Strike Force, announce the most recent results of their investigative efforts. The cases announced today include:

1. United States v. Angelo Ponds and Sean Guillaume, Case No. 13-60242-CR-Cohn

Defendants Angelo Ponds, 32, of Miami Gardens, and Sean Guillaume, 31, of Miramar, were charged in a nine count indictment for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme relating to a health care provider.

According to the indictment, Guillaume worked for a company that performed medical laboratory tests where he had access to medical records with names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers (personal identity information or “PII”) of individuals in the course of his employment with that company. During the conspiracy, Guillaume stole PII from the company and sold five thousand individuals’ PII to Ponds. Guillaume knew that Ponds would use the PII for the filing of fraudulent and unauthorized tax returns. Ponds caused other individuals to file false and fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) seeking refunds using the PII provided by Guillaume.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to submit fraudulent claims to the government, theft of government money, and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

2. United States v. Camilla Gonzalez and Patricia Alcime, Case No. 13-60249-CR-Scola

On October 3, 2013, defendants Camilla Gonzalez, 29, and Patricia Alcime, 29, both of Lauderhill, were charged in a 13 count indictment for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme that resulted in the submission of approximately $2 million in fraudulent refund claims.

According to the indictment, Gonzalez and Alcime, while operating the tax preparation company “Luxury Tax,” obtained personal identifying information of numerous identity theft victims, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Upon receipt of the sensitive personal identifying information, they utilized this information to electronically file false, fictitious, and fraudulent federal income tax returns without the knowledge or authorization of the identity theft victims, utilizing the EFIN assigned to Luxury Tax Inc. and their individually assigned PTIN’s, and thereafter claimed refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. Defendants thereafter directed the IRS that the fraudulently claimed refunds be direct deposited into “Luxury Tax Inc.” bank accounts or onto pre-paid reloadable debit cards. Once the bank accounts or pre-paid reloadable debit cards had been funded by the Department of the Treasury, defendants withdrew the funds at local automated teller machines (ATM’s) or by utilizing their debit cards to make everyday purchases, including point of sale transactions at various local businesses and merchants. In total, they defrauded the IRS out of approximately $2,000,000.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to submit fraudulent claims to the government, theft of public money, and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton.

3. United States v. Ernest Archie, III, Case No. 13-20755-CR-Martinez

On October 4, 2013, defendant Ernest Archie, 21, of Miami, was charged in a two count indictment with mail theft offenses.

According to the indictment, the defendant, while working as a postal employee, delayed and embezzled articles of mail, including debit cards which were intended to be delivered by the defendant, all in connection with a stolen identity tax refund scheme.

The indictment charges the defendant with theft of mail by a postal employee and delay of mail by a postal employee. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Snyder.

4. United States v. Henry Dorvil et al., Case No. 13-60029-CR-Scola(s)

Defendants Corey Williams, 30, of Miami Gardens, Delvin Jean Baptiste, 29 of Miramar, and Ronald Gustave, 36, of Miami, were charged in a 41 count superseding indictment for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme resulting in millions of dollars in fraudulent activity.

According to the superseding indictment, the defendants conspired to unjustly enrich themselves by recruiting knowing co-conspirators and unknowing victims to put businesses, bank accounts and Electronic Filing Identification Numbers in their names, through which fraudulent transactions would be conducted.

To accomplish this, the defendants used the personal identification information of individuals, many deceased, to prepare and file false and fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS. The defendants would obtain possession of fraudulently obtained refunds in the form of United States Treasury and Refund Anticipation Loan checks diverted to addresses or into bank accounts that they caused to be created and controlled. The defendants would then negotiate the fraudulently obtained federal income tax refunds within each other’s businesses, and elsewhere, to avoid being detected.

According to the superseding indictment, defendant Williams, with others, caused the creation of Miami Gardens Check Cashing Store, LLC and Lucky Star Check Cashing Services, LLC, each opened for the purpose of cashing fraudulently obtained United States Treasury tax refund checks. From 2010, through early 2011, defendant Williams caused to be filed with the IRS 835 federal income tax returns, requesting refunds totaling $3,862,383; including 37 returns for deceased individuals totaling $155,802 in false claims.

Also according to the superseding indictment, in 2011, defendant Baptiste caused to be filed with the IRS 3,178 federal income tax returns, requesting refunds totaling $10,245,641; including 853 fraudulent returns for deceased individuals totaling $2,280,867 in false claims. And during 2012, defendant Gustave caused to be filed with the IRS 366 federal income tax returns, requesting refunds totaling $1,784,923; including 18 fraudulent returns for deceased individuals totaling $79,533 in false claims.

The defendants were each charged with a conspiracy to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft as well as two substantive counts of both wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil.

5. United States v. Marcelin Jean-Louis, Case No. 13-20738-CR-Cooke

Defendant Marcelin Jean-Louis, 40, of Homestead, was charged in an 11 count indictment for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme involving several million dollars in fraudulently obtained tax refunds.

According to the complaint, Jean-Louis agreed on a plan whereby he would take fraudulently obtained tax refund checks to Mahadeo Singh for cashing at Argo Check Cashing (“Argo”) in Homestead, Florida. Singh cashed over five million dollars in fraudulently obtained tax refund checks at Argo, several million of which came from Jean Louis. Jean Louis acknowledged to the owner of Argo that the checks were fraudulent and that he obtained them from people at the post office and from a tax preparer.

The defendant was charged with conspiracy to steal government funds, theft of government funds, and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger.

6. United States v. Michael Douarin and Odelson Georges, Case No. 13-20756-CR-Moore

On October 4, 2013, defendants Michael Douarin, 25, and Odelson Georges, 33, both of Miami, were charged in a five-count indictment for their participation in an identity theft tax refund fraud scheme.

According to the indictment, on March 24, 2011, Michael Douarin and Odelson Georges were caught in possession of personal identity information belonging to hundreds of people. Among the paperwork were computer screen-shot printouts displaying patients’ personal information from a local hospital in Miami Beach, Florida, numerous case sheet printouts from another facility, and handwritten ledgers listing social security numbers with corresponding names and dates of birth. Investigation revealed that co-conspirators filed fraudulent tax returns using some of these identities. The scheme involved the use of “Get it Now” debit cards, which are commonly used by tax preparers as a means to receive tax refunds.

The indictment charges the defendants with unauthorized possession of personal identification information, conspiracy to possess personal identification information, and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI, the North Miami Beach Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (ICE-HSI). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marton Gyires.

7. United States v. Carl Borgella and Paul Borgella, Case No. 13-20710-CR-Cooke

On September 20, 2013, defendants Carl Borgella, 31, of Hollywood, and Paul Borgella, 34, of North Miami Beach, were charged in a seven count indictment in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax return refunds.

According to the indictment, between January and September 2011, the defendants operated “TRCJ Asset Services,” a tax preparation company, and utilized two business accounts to receive fraudulently obtained United States Department of Treasury tax refunds, without the authorization of the filers. Once the bank accounts had been funded by the Department of the Treasury, the defendants would thereafter withdraw the funds by writing, and endorsing, checks to TRCJ Asset Services, making ATM withdrawals, and making debit card payments. In total, they defrauded the IRS out of approximately $412,000.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to steal government funds and theft of government funds. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, the North Miami Beach Police Department, and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Perwin.

8. United States v. Ivory Covington and Tekia Jones, Case No. 13-20704-CR-Dimitrouleas

On September 20, 2013, defendants Ivory Covington, 26, of Miami Lakes, and Tekia Jones, 31, of Lauderhill, were charged in a nine count indictment in connection with a scheme to steal identities of current and former employees of a national fast food restaurant chain. According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to possess and possessed at least fifteen social security numbers, names and dates of birth belonging to persons who were formerly or presently employed with a national fast food restaurant.

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the Aventura Police Department and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

9. United States v. Marquis Onigirin Moye and Angela Dione Rosier, Case No. 13-6462-CR-Hunt

Defendants Marquis Onigirin Moye, 24, of Pompano Beach, and Angela Dione Rosier, 41, of Coral Springs, were charged by criminal complaint for their participation in a stolen identity fraud scheme.

According to the complaint, Rosier worked for a company that performed medical laboratory tests where she had access to medical records with names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers (personal identity information or “PII”) of individuals in the course of her employment with that company. During the conspiracy, Rosier provided access to the company's database which allowed other coconspirators to steal PII from the company. Found on the computer of one of the coconspirators was the PII of over 1,300 individuals. Rosier knew that her co-conspirators would use the PII for fraudulent purposes. Moye also obtained information from the company's database, which he used to obtain credit cards and other identification in the name of a patient.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess fifteen or more unauthorized access devices. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the IRS-CI, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the Broward Sheriff's Office, and the Coconut Creek Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia R. Wood.

10. United States v. Robinson Calixte, Case No. 12-60250-CR-Graham

On September 13, 2013, defendant Robinson Calixte, 22, of Miami, was charged in a five count indictment for identity theft in connection with his unauthorized possession of at least fifteen social security numbers belonging to other individuals. Defendant was found with over 800 names, dates of birth and social security numbers of other individuals.

The indictment charges the defendant with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the IRS-CI, North Miami Beach Police Department, North Miami Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera R. Peoples.

11. United States v. Nolan McFarland, Case No. 13-20757-CR-Ungaro

On October 4, 2013, defendant Nolan McFarland, 34, of Opa Locka, was charged in a nine count indictment for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme.

According to the indictment, the defendant obtained and sold the personal identifying information of numerous identity theft victims, including their names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, to an individual who intended to utilize the information to electronically file false, fictitious, and fraudulent federal income tax returns without the knowledge or authorization of the identity theft victims, and thereafter claim refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. The intended loss to the IRS was approximately $295,000.

The indictment charges the defendant with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Snyder.

12. United States v. Ronald Walker, Case No. 13-60248-CR-Cohn

On October 3, 2013, defendant Ronald Walker, 36, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged in a 15 count indictment for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme involving approximately $1.2 million in stolen or otherwise fraudulent U.S. Treasury checks.

According to the indictment, Walker facilitated the negotiation of stolen and fraudulently obtained U.S. Treasury checks by receiving the checks, forging the payees’ endorsements, and providing images of altered driver’s licenses to a check cashing store, American Quick Cash, in Oakland Park, Florida, where he cashed the stolen checks. Walker cashed approximately 23 U.S. Treasury checks worth approximately $1.2 million.

The defendant was charged with theft of government funds and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of U.S. Secret Service and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alicia Shick

13. United States v. Willy Toussaint, Case No. 13-60247-CR-Scola

On October 3, 2013, defendant Willy Toussaint, 43, of Lauderhill, was charged in a five count indictment with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, persons whose identities are currently unknown to the Grand Jury obtained, possessed, and used stolen personal identifying information to submit to IRS false, fictitious, and fraudulent federal income tax returns claiming tax refunds to which they were not entitled. Defendant Willy Toussaint obtained counterfeit and fraudulent means of identification, including counterfeit State of Florida driver’s licenses, and thereafter caused multiple unauthorized personal and business bank accounts to be created at JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., utilizing the personal identification information of unsuspecting identity theft victims. Once these bank accounts had been created at the direction of defendant Willy Toussaint, other persons either directed the IRS to electronically transmit or “direct deposit” the fraudulently claimed tax refunds to the bank accounts established at the direction of defendant Willy Toussaint, or other persons would deposit U.S. Treasury tax refund checks into these fraudulently established accounts. Once JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. received the tax refunds from the U.S. Treasury, other persons would unjustly enrich themselves by either “wiring” the money out of the fraudulently established accounts at JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. or would utilize multiple automated teller machines (ATM) to withdraw the money in cash. As compensation for opening the fraudulent bank accounts at JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., defendant Willy Toussaint thereafter paid bank employees between $2,000 and $10,000. In total, approximately $208,000 in fraudulently obtained income tax refunds were deposited into fraudulent bank accounts created at the direction of Willy Toussaint.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI, U.S. Secret Service, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton.

14. United States v. Monique Adelson, Case No. 13-20705-CR-Scola

On September 20, 2013, defendant Monique Adelson, 20, of North Miami, was charged in a five count indictment in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax return refunds. The tax fraud scheme involved individuals obtaining personally identifiable information (PII) from a combination of five websites, which included Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's website www.GoRenew.com and a website that contained a Death Master File (DMF). The DMF is a list of social security numbers, dates of birth, and names of deceased individuals, which was used to guess a living individual's identity. The PII obtained from the five website combination was used to file fraudulent tax returns and have the refunds directly deposited into the defendant’s bank account.

The indictment charges the defendant with theft of government funds. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

15. United States v. Marie Jean Baptiste, Case No. 13-20707-CR-Rosenbaum

On September 20, 2013, defendant Marie Jean Baptiste, 22, of Miami, was charged in a three count indictment in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax return refunds. The tax fraud scheme involved individuals obtaining personally identifiable information (PII) from a combination of five websites, which included Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's website www.GoRenew.com and a website that contained a Death Master File (DMF). The DMF is a list of social security numbers, dates of birth, and names of deceased individuals, which was used to guess a living individual's identity. The PII obtained from the five website combination was used to file fraudulent tax returns and have the refunds directly deposited into the defendant’s bank account.

The indictment charges the defendant with theft of government funds. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

16. United States v. Hans Velo-Germain, Case No. 13-20708-CR-Dimitrouleas

On September 20, 2013, defendant Hans Velo-Germain, 20, of North Miami, was charged in a six count indictment in connection with a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax return refunds. The tax fraud scheme involved individuals obtaining personally identifiable information (PII) from a combination of five websites, which included Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's website www.GoRenew.com and a website that contained a Death Master File (DMF). The DMF is a list of social security numbers, dates of birth, and names of deceased individuals, which was used to guess a living individual's identity. The PII obtained from the five website combination was used to file fraudulent tax returns and have the refunds directly deposited into the defendant’s bank account.

The indictment charges the defendant with theft of government funds. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

17. United States v. Richard Oliver, Case No. 13-20682-CR-Moreno

On September 13, 2013, defendant Richard Oliver, 54, of Miami Gardens, was charged in a three count indictment for theft of a U.S. Treasury check, forgery and aggravated identity theft in connection with defendant’s deposit of a stolen U.S. Treasury check into his personal bank account.

The indictment charges the defendant with theft of government funds, forgery and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the U.S. Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera R. Peoples.

18. United States v. Peter Michael Daniel, Case No. 13-20685-CR-Middlebrooks

On September 13, 2013, defendant Peter Michael Daniel, 29, of Sweetwater, was charged by indictment with access device fraud for his unauthorized possession of at least fifteen social security numbers belonging to other individuals.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to U.S. Secret Service, IRS-CI, and Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

19. United States v. Randy Sam Jackson and Braden Anthony Jones, Case No. 13-20770-CR-Zloch

On October 8, 2013, defendants Randy Sam Jackson, 27, of North Miami and Braden Anthony Jones, 28, of North Miami, were charged in a nine count indictment for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme resulting in the recovery of over 653 stolen names, social security numbers and birthdates of individuals.

According to the indictment, on April 30, 2013, Randy Sam Jackson and Braden Anthony Jones had in their possession a notebook containing over 635 names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of individuals. They were apprehended by law enforcement while using a laptop computer to input a federal income tax return application in the name of one of those stolen identities using the tax filing service “Express1040.com.”

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to possess fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, possession of fifteen or more unauthorized access devices, and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke Watson.

20. United States v. Moshi Barnard, Case No. 13-20684-CR-Cooke

On September 13, 2013, defendant Moshi Barnard, 28, of Hollywood, was charged in a seven count indictment for identity theft in connection with her unauthorized possession of at least fifteen social security numbers belonging to other individuals. Defendant was found with over 200 social security numbers, names and dates of birth of other individuals. The actual loss to the IRS was $56,987.

The indictment charges the defendant with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to U.S. Secret Service, Aventura Police Department, and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gera Peoples.

21. United States v. Tiffany Charise Fields and Robert Howell, Case No. 13-60254-CR-Hurley

On October 3, 2013, defendants Tiffany Charise Fields, 33, of Pompano Beach, and Robert Howell, 37, of Miami, were charged in an eight count indictment for identity theft in connection with their fraudulent possession of at least 15 social security numbers belonging to other individuals, which resulted in an estimated intended loss of approximately $111,500.

According to the indictment, the defendants possessed and sold the social security numbers of other individuals to a confidential informant on three separate occasions in March and April 2013. The defendants sold the personal identifying information of other individuals knowing that it was intended to be used to commit fraud.

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit access device fraud, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy R. Camacho.

22. United States v. Michael Leslie, Case No. 13-60253-CR-Zloch

On October 3, 2013, defendant Michael Leslie, 22, of North Lauderdale, was charged in a three count indictment for identity theft in connection with his fraudulent possession of at least 15 social security numbers belonging to other individuals, which resulted in an estimated intended loss of approximately $45,000.

According to the indictment, defendant possessed and sold the social security numbers of other individuals to a confidential informant. Defendant sold the social security numbers knowing that they were intended to be used to commit fraud.

The indictment charges the defendant with access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy R. Camacho.

23. United States v. Andy Destin, Case No. 13-20761-CR-Huck

On October 4, 2013, defendant Andy Destin, 25, of Miami, was charged in a ten count indictment for theft of U.S. Treasury checks. The estimated loss to the IRS is $79,004.

According to the indictment, defendant knew that certain tax refund checks were obtained through fraud, and nevertheless deposited them into his bank account with the intent to convert the monies to his personal use.

The indictment charges the defendant with theft of government funds. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and the North Miami Beach Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy R. Camacho.

24. United States v. Felicidy Butler, Case No. 13-20733-CR-Williams

On September 27, 2013, defendant Felicidy Butler, 26, of Miami, was charged in a three count indictment for her participation in an identity theft tax refund scheme resulting in over $175,000 in disbursed tax refunds, with an intended loss of over $440,000.

According to the indictment, Butler fraudulently possessed fifteen or more social security numbers of other persons. The indictment also alleges that the defendant possessed the means of identification, specifically, the names and dates of birth of two identity theft victims.

The indictment charges the defendant with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Sunrise Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elina Rubin-Smith.

25. United States v. Johny Dabrezil, Case No. 13-20765-CR-Graham

On October 4, 2013, defendant Johny Dabrezil, 28, of North Miami Beach, was charged in a four count indictment for his participation in an identity theft tax refund scheme. According to the indictment, the defendant fraudulently possessed the social security numbers of at least fifteen individuals. The indictment also alleges that the defendant stole the means of identification, specifically, the name and social security number, of three individuals.

The indictment charges the defendant with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the IRS-CI and the North Miami Beach Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John R. Byrne.

26. United States v. Roshawn Jermaine Davis, Case No. 13-20766-CR-Williams

On October 4, 2013, defendant Roshawn Jermaine Davis, 38, Miami, was charged in a six count indictment for his participation in an identity theft tax refund scheme. According to the indictment, the defendant fraudulently possessed the social security numbers of at least fifteen individuals. The indictment also alleges that the defendant stole the means of identification, specifically, the name and social security number, of five individuals.

The indictment charges the defendant with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Identity Theft Tax Refund Strike Force, with special commendation to the IRS-CI and the Miami-Dade Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John R. Byrne.

27. United States v. Wendy Sands. Case No. 13-20759-CR-Williams

On October 4, 2013, defendant Wendy Sands, 43, of Opa Locka, was charged in a three count indictment for her participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme.

According to the indictment, the defendant obtained and sold the personal identifying information of numerous identity theft victims, including their names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, to an individual who intended to utilize the information to electronically file false, fictitious, and fraudulent federal income tax returns without the knowledge or authorization of the identity theft victims, and thereafter claim refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. The intended loss to the IRS was approximately $32,000.

The indictment charges the defendant with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Snyder.

28. United States v. Donnavan Haynes, Case No. 13-20758-CR-Williams

On October 4, 2013, defendant Donnavan Haynes, 49, of Miami, was charged in a nine count indictment for his participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme.

According to the indictment, the defendant obtained and sold the personal identifying information of numerous identity theft victims, including their names, dates of birth, and social security numbers, to an individual who intended to utilize the information to electronically file false, fictitious, and fraudulent federal income tax returns without the knowledge or authorization of the identity theft victims, and thereafter claim refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. The intended loss to the IRS was approximately $214,000.

The indictment charges the defendant with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vanessa Snyder.

29. United States v. Jean-Elguentino Cayo, Case No. 13-20769-CR-Martinez

On October 8, 2013, defendant Jean-Elguentino Cayo, 26, of Miami Gardens, was charged in a single count indictment with access device fraud.

The indictment charges the defendant with trafficking in unauthorized social security numbers with intent to defraud. Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ICE-HSI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Maderal.

30. United States v. Andrew Ware, et al., Case No. 13-60252-CR- Dimitrouleas

On October 3, 2013, defendants Andrew Ware, 27, David Tilus, 27, Jaqwayn Henry, 23, Alex Dontfred, 29, Fritznel Etienne, 24, Latanya Ware, 27, Latonya Ware, 27, and Sherika Rowe, 20, all of Lauderhill, were charged in a 48-count indictment for their participation in a stolen identity tax refund scheme and an access device fraud scheme that resulted in the submission of over $108,000 in fraudulent tax refund claims and over $48,000 in unauthorized access device purchases.

According to the indictment, Andrew Ware, David Tilus, Latanya Ware, Latonya Ware and Sherika Rowe obtained the personal identifying information (PII) of numerous identity theft victims, including their names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers. Upon receipt of the PII, they utilized this information to electronically file fraudulent federal income tax returns without the knowledge or authorization of the identity theft victims, and thereafter claimed refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS. Defendants thereafter directed the IRS that the fraudulently claimed refunds be direct deposited onto pre-paid reloadable debit cards. Once these debit cards had been funded by the Department of the Treasury, defendants withdrew the funds by utilizing the debit cards to purchase gift cards and other merchandise, and make everyday purchases, including point of sale transactions at various local Walmart stores.

The conspiracy to commit access device fraud involved Andrew Ware, David Tilus, Jaqwayn Henry, Alex Dontfred and Fritznel Etienne in a plan to utilize victims’ access devices, without their authorization, to purchase merchandise totaling at least $1,000 in a single year. These defendants obtained credit card numbers from various victims and used these stolen access devices to purchase merchandise, gift cards and prepaid debit cards for later use.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, IRS-CI and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Harry Wallace and Alicia Shick.

If convicted, the defendants face a possible maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud; 10 years in prison for conspiracy to make false claims against the United States; five to 15 years in prison for access device fraud; 10 years in prison for stealing government funds; and, two years in prison consecutive to any other term for aggravated identity theft.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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